A multi-million kina cocoa project has been launched on Karkar Island inthe Madang Province.
This is to revivethe industry devastated bythe cocoa pod borer several years ago.
The project will involvethe introduction of new pest-resistant stock, farmer training and rehabilitating plantations.
An estimated ten thousand Karkar island families are expected to benefit.
The impact ofthe cocoa pod borer sawthe island’s harvest fall from 2000 tonnes in 2009 to 850 tonnes in 2012. Thus income fell by more than 6 million kina between 2009 and 2013.
Project implementerthe Cocoa CoconutInstitute will introducethe new stock, train farmers in cocoa pod borer management and oversee plantation rehabilitation.
5.5 million kina has been allocated for the implementation ofthe project.
PNGSDP Chief Executive officer David Sode is confidentthe project will succeed, asthey will be implementing techniques that have been successful in an earlier project in East New Beitain province.
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